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Central Province Railway or Shakuntala Railway – Old Photo
Rare 1918 photos of the almost unheard-of Central Province Railway. More commonly called the Shakuntala Railway. Remarkably the only private railway in India. Built in 1910 to carry raw cotton from the deep interiors of Maharastra to Bombay (Mumbai). This was at the time of the phenomenal cotton boom. India nationalized its British-era railways in 1952, but oddly this one was left out for some reason.
Either forgotten or overlooked but the exact reason is not known. There are four interesting photographs of the Central Province Railway. The fourth one was possibly taken en route from the back carriage. The steam locomotive looks new, perhaps being in the initial years of its operation. The central province is a narrow-gauge railway. That runs a 188 km stretch—from Achalpur to Yavatmal and back.
It was owned by a British firm Killick, Nixon & Company. The train service is believed to have ceased operations very recently. Even though it was a great boon for the villagers despite its travel time of 20 hours one way. Its steam locomotive which was in use for 78 years was scrapped in 1994 that was replaced with a diesel locomotive.
Did you know- Shakuntala still pays a royalty to “Killick, Nixon and Company” who own the railway more than one crore a year.
From the collection- 11 Picture Postcards On Raja Ravi Varma Oil Paintings., Santa Cruz Airport Bombay – Old Postcard 1949., Bandra Near Bombay – Old Print 1882., Nazi Germany’s Map of Bombay With Eagle & Swastika 1940s